Mindfulness as a general awareness of the present moment receives a lot of attention these days. This kind of awareness is sometimes labeled "bare attention" or "present moment awareness." Some, however, teach mindfulness as one aspect of a practice that aims to do more. In certain yoga traditions, for instance, the ultimate goal is to still the fluctuations of the mind. Paradoxically, the most effective way to still the mind often requires more than just sitting still, and finding out what methods work requires experimentation. This article explores one method that many people find useful to cultivate mindfulness: the simile of the gatekeeper.
In a Dhamma talk yesterday, Ajahn Amaro mentioned the Lebanese-American poet Kahlil Gibran, who wrote about parenting in his 1923 book, The Prophet. Gibran's words seem to uncomplicate the complicated. He claims that we parents need to do little more than offer children our love, and that we can't control them. They are not ours to control. Should we believe him?